I love the design and how compact the unit is. Winning this would allow me to setup an AD server at home and using roaming profiles on my machine without taking up a huge amount of physical space or power!
I need to upgrade an old Synology NAS to a similarly quiet and small form-factor server. Expanding storage capabilities from 2 bays to 4 bays, faster more powerful CPU, more memory, faster networking, with expanded capabilities of Windows Server and HP reliability is perfect. The specifications could not be more appropriate!
I've been following the HP Micro/Media servers since they turned up (at an almost reasonable price) at TechEd a few years ago. At the time I was running Windows Home Server v1.0 on an old desktop with a couple of USB drives attached.
What's changed since then? In the last month I've finally upgraded to Server 2012 R2 Essentials on a newer, but still old, desktop PC (yes, that's the fans from a Radeon HD5670 sticking out the top of the case), took the DVD burner out so I could put some storage internally and added a PCIe USB3.0 card to support a recently purchased 4TB USB3 drive.
But as you can see from the pic below, things are a bit of a mess. The chance to bring all my storage internally would be a boon! And the power footprint of the HP Microserver Gen8 is probably far better than my Acer C2D E5300, to say nothing of the benefits of proper cooling (yes, I have old PC fans hooked up to holes in the wall to suck out the warm air...)
And the iLO would mean I can finally unhook my aging KVM (it still uses VGA and PS/2 K/M connectors) and not need (still) two keyboards and two mice on my desk (one set hooked to the KVM, the other [Arc Mouse and Arc Keyboard) linked to my laptop, which I run dual screens off, not via KVM).
And then there's the switch. Now I must admit, I already have an old HP ProCurve 2824, which gives me 28 ports of gigabit goodness, but it's noisy as heck! Drowns out my aging 2KVA UPS no problem.
So, please, I don't just want to win the lovely little HP Microserver Gen8 and HP PS1810-8G switch, I NEED to win them!
And yes, it might even encourage me to tidy up my cabling... maybe...
Size and quietness are the main attractions. I have an earlier model and the staff member who shares his room with the server was grateful to get rid of the '747' it replaced. A new one would be used as a mythtv backend and media storage at home. Dual ethernet ports would mean I can connect the HD Homeruns on a different subnet and cut network traffic on the main lan.
So many features! A small, quiet server - automated backups of connected PC's for work use, serving as a media hub for home use, remote access and all the other features that come with the power of Windows Server.